Decades ago Dennis invited a colleague for lunch at our place in the country, the place we call Paradise. Entering the house, the fellow, a collector of Navajo rugs and other costly art, looked around and declared, “You don’t have anything valuable here.”
Over the ensuing years Dennis and I have enjoyed that remark and taken some twisted pride in it. Our treasured possessions wouldn’t sell for a nickel at auction, but we don’t care.
Who would pay for a basket full of birds’ nests?
Who would care to purchase a basket of shells collected on the Galveston beach before oil spills and hurricanes destroyed most of its life forms?
Who would want to own two skeletonized baby snakes that Oz found dead in our basement? (Before the mites in my old glass-front bookcase ate all their flesh, they clearly were a baby ring neck and a baby copperhead.)
Now that I have realized that we have too much stuff, I’ve been looking at everything in our house with a critical eye. Of what use or value are birds’ nests and seashells? Of what use are snake skeletons, one broken?
These precious objects and their many companions are a history of our 40-plus years in this beautiful place. They commemorate the years gone by. They are the milestones of our rural lives together.
I love and therefore value every relic. They are valuable to me and I can’t throw them out. Oh, I know they have to return to the earth sometime, but please, not just yet.
Copyright 2015 by Shirley Domer